Chest Exercises for Women to Increase Strength

For step-by-step instructions and videos for these exercises, see our Best Chest Exercises for Women page.

Here's a list of the best exercises that can be done with weights:

  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Fly
  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Pullover

Why Bother to Focus on Chest Exercises for Women?

Doing any weight training exercises for women will provide you with a ton of benefits. Most importantly, strengthening and building your chest muscles will help you develop that upper body strength you need to keep up with life's daily activities.

Lifting weights to gain chest muscle, or any other muscles, makes you stronger and also helps boost your metabolism. Strong muscles in this area also helps us to perform better in a variety of sports.

Contrary to popular belief, a workout focusing on this part of your body will not give you larger breasts. Our breasts mostly consist of fatty tissue. Therefore, it is impossible to increase breast size through weight training. That's the bad news. However, strengthening your chest muscles will provide you with a natural lift to your breasts.

Working Our "Pecs"

Our chest muscles are often called our "pecs"; and even more precisely, they are our Pectoralis Major muscles. The pecs are located on the front of the rib cage and cross our upper chest.

Most of the exercises for our pecs can be done with free weights (dumbbells and barbells) or weight machines. Most fall into the categories of "presses" or "flies."

Chest Exercises for Women Using Weight Machines

Women lifting weights for strength training can use either free weights or weight machines. Of course, it's easier to use barbells and dumbbells because you can also use these in the privacy of your home. You usually have to travel to the gym to use machines.

With weight machines, however, there's less chance of injury from the weights falling on you. You are also more likely to perform the weight lifting movement more accurately and slowly, especially if the machine you're using has a counting feature to keep track of how slowly or quickly you are doing your repetitions.

The one major problem I've noticed about weight machines at the gym, especially machines that target chest muscles, is that the machines often do not adjust to accommodate the smaller frames of women's bodies. It appears that most machines are designed with the proportions of men in mind.

Getting Started

Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle

However you decide to do your weight lifting, there's no time like the present to get started!

Personal trainer Tom Venuto has put together a workout and nutrition program called Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle that not only includes an excellent upper body workout, but a full-body workout as well. You can check out his website to see if the program might be right for you.

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